Quick, before I get Sidetrack'd

Archive for March, 2009


Thoughtfully penned on March 27th, 2009 and generally concerning E, Motherhood

Earlier today Little and I were walking home from my friend L’s when the son of our next-door neighbor pulled into the driveway and got out of the car. The following conversation ensued:

Little: That’s a man, Mommy.
Me: You’re right, baby.
L: He’s going in the house, Mommy.
M: Yep.
L: Mommy, where is the lady to go in the house with him?
M: Well, I guess Ms. P is at work.
L: Yeah, she’s at work. But Mommies stay home.
M: Not all Mommies stay home, some of them go to work.
L: But you stay home, Mommy!

Yes, baby, I do. And what a privilege it is!

Potty breaks

Thoughtfully penned on March 26th, 2009 and generally concerning E

Awhile back I mentioned that we were having some issues with Little and the whole potty training thing. In fact, I think I was at the point then that I wanted to run screaming from the house and just let her wear diapers until she is 15. Fortunately, we have turned the corner and things are going very well these days.

One of the big problems we had was that she had decided she couldn’t use public bathrooms. When you’re out and about as much as we are, this is a huge issue! I’m happy here to say that she is now very willing to use the bathroom wherever we are.

Case in point, we made three (yes, three!) potty trips during the hour we were at Target this morning. Maybe training pants weren’t such a problem after all…

Strawberry Cake, yum!

Thoughtfully penned on March 23rd, 2009 and generally concerning childhood, Good Eats, In the kitchen

I’m a girl of many flavors – chocolate, peanut butter, caramel. Depending on the treat and my mood I’m pretty flexible with the whole sweets thing (as long as there is something sweet to be found). But when it comes to cake, strawberry is my favorite.

And of strawberry cakes, the one my Mema made when I was young is the one I always fall back to. Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s not having tried the “best strawberry cake ever” yet, but this is the cake I choose.

Every year I bake my own birthday cake, and I bake it from this recipe. If you try it, I hope you like it, too.

Mema’s Strawberry Cake
1 box white cake mix
1 pkg (3 oz) strawberry jello
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sweet milk
4 eggs
1 cup angel flake coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup strawberries

Mix all ingredients by hand. Bake in 3 layers at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Strawberry Frosting
1 box confectioners sugar
1 stick melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together and spread on cake.

Notes: I usually leave out the coconut and pecans (just because I’m weird like that). I also generally bake the cake in a 9×13 and ice it in the pan (just because I’m lazy like that). And be aware that the icing has always turned out quite thin for me (more like a glaze).

It’s party time! UBP ’09

Thoughtfully penned on March 20th, 2009 and generally concerning Blogging News, Contests, Sidetrack'd

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

It’s the first day of Spring, my thirtieth birthday, and the beginning of UBP ’09. Definitely time to party!

Hi, I’m Jana. Welcome to my little corner of the world. Come in, help yourself to a piece of strawberry cake, and stick around to chat for a while.

For those of you who are new to these parts, let me tell you a bit about myself…

I am wife to the love of my life, Matt. God has entrusted us with two precious lives in the form of our 2.5 year old, Little, and our 11 month old, Boo; and I have had the privilege of being at home with them since Little’s birth. I lead a life filled with blessings – a great family, great friends, and, most of all, a great God.

I started blogging a little over two years ago and chose to name my place Sidetrack’d because, well, because I’m very easily distracted. You will find me writing on a wide variety of topics – funny anecdotes from everyday life, my faith, books, baseball, cooking, and anything else that strikes my fancy. I write because I enjoy it and because it is a much better way to record my children’s milestones than trying to remember to write in their baby books.

Feel free to hang out for a while, look around, and if you like what you see, subscribe to my RSS feed.

Thanks for stopping by today; I hope to “see” you again soon!

Oh yeah, if you’re interested, here’s the recipe for the yummy strawberry cake we’re enjoying for my birthday I’ll post the recipe the first of next week.

Thanks for 5 Minutes for Mom for hosting another great party! Be sure you check out all of the prizes they are giving away, too. If I were to be so fortunate as to win a prize, my three top picks would be:

Prize 7 – Ergo Baby Carrier offered by A Giveaway Addicted Mommy

Prize 3 – $25 Gift Certificate for Happy Panda

Prize 106 – Melissa & Doug Dress Up Set offered by Good for the Kids

And if those are already taken, I would love any of the following:
1, 4, 8, 16, 18, 19, 21, 26, 28, 37, 38, 43, 44, 45, 50, 52, 62, 70, 77, 78, 79, 83, 88, 91, 93, 95, 99, 105, 118, 122, 123, 125, or any of the other prizes related to babies and toddlers/preschoolers.

The Scary Prayer, Part 3

Thoughtfully penned on March 19th, 2009 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life

Part 1
Part 2

The question that remains – where do we go from here?  And to that question I have absolutely no answers.  

I know that we are in a place of submission and awareness.  I also know that we are currently in a season of waiting.

There is talk of missions work.  Matt has long had a heart for the unsaved and, especially, for foreign missions.  This is one place where I’ve been holding out.  It scares me to think of living and raising my children in another culture, but if this is what God has planned for us then I will obediently answer the call.

Beyond that, I really have no clue right now.

I once heard someone say that God only allows us to see a few feet in front of us because if we saw any further down the road we would stop dead in our tracks.  

I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that God holds my future (and that of my family) in his hands.  I don’t know what God’s plans are, but I know that his will always prevails.

And with the promises of scripture tucked in our hearts and our minds Matt and I take this journey one step at a time.

Lord, give me courage to walk this path and faith to be obedient.

Ultimate Blog Party ’09

Thoughtfully penned on March 18th, 2009 and generally concerning Blogging News, Ultimate Blog Party
Ultimate Blog Party 2009

The 5 Minutes for Mom girls are once again hosting the biggest party in the Mommy-blogging sphere!  Ultimate Blog Party ’09 runs from March 20 through March 27 and will be packed with fun, friends, and, oh yeah, prizes, too. Head over there any time during the week to join in the fun. You never know who you might run into at a great party like this one!

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The Scary Prayer, Part 2

Thoughtfully penned on March 18th, 2009 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life

Part 1

And now I am studying the Pentateuch again; this time as part of Bible Study Fellowship.  Or rather, I’m studying the life of Moses through the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.  This time, however, I came into the study from a different spiritual perspective, not from a spiritual high of obedience and anticipation but from a place of dryness and stagnation.

One of the things God has really been convicting me of these last few weeks is my lack of perspective on his might.  I’ve fallen into the “little God” trap and lost sight of God’s “bigness” and supremecy.  I’ve been guilty of trying to live this life based on my own power instead of relying on God.  I’ve misplaced my trust in the fact that God ordains all, God controls all, and God knows best of all.  I’ve failed to trust.  I’ve fallen into unbelief that my God can handle everything better than I could even imagine.

As I read through my BSF notes a couple of weeks ago (covering Number 13-14; the 12 spies in Canaan), I was repeatedly convicted of my unbelief.  Caleb and Joshua were firmly convinced of the overwhelming hugeness of God.  It did not matter to them if they were two men going up against all the giants Canaan could throw at them, they had God on their side and their God was immeasurably larger than all of the giants put together.

I want to reclaim my large view of God.  I want to again trust in my God who is immeasurably larger and stronger than all the things of this world.  I want to serve a God who doesn’t need me but chooses to use me.  I want to trust fully, deeply, irreversably.  I long to be lost in God instead of wrapped up in myself.  My eyes have been dimmed by unbelief, but I desire now to see God clearly.

So I am again praying that very scary prayer.  The prayer where I put all I have and all I am back in God’s hands.  “Lord, all I have is yours – my home, my marriage, my children (as difficult as that is to say), my health, my finances, even my very life.  It is yours; do with it as you please.”

This is not an empty prayer.  I say these things fully recognizing that something will soon change.  That something probably will not be the thing I would have chosen and will very likely break me in some way.  But I am confident that my God is the big God of Caleb and Joshua.  The supreme God.  The God who knows the end from the beginning.  And I am confident that my God will carry me through in victory, just as he always has.

The Scary Prayer, Part 1

Thoughtfully penned on March 17th, 2009 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life

There is one piece of advice on prayer that I feel comfortable giving: Do not pray that you place all things in God’s hands – marriage, home, children, health, etc. – unless you really mean it.  You don’t know what might happen, but you can be certain that something will.

The last time I fervently prayed this prayer God uprooted us from our life and moved us across the state.  Our life was good.  We were part of a good church that believed fully in God’s word and ardently proclaimed what is written there – even the hard parts.  In that church we were members of a small group of men and women who we thought of as family.  We were learning, growing, and being challenged in our beliefs and our faith.  We had great friends, good jobs.  We had just bought a house and were settling in to start a family.

Matt and I were in prayer that God would lead us, change us, use us.  For a while I prayed, “Lord, all I have is yours – my marriage, my job, my home, my life – do with it what you will.”  A few short weeks later we were headed to our new city where we knew no one.

We moved to a place that would not have made my short list of places I wanted to live.  I was happy where we were and not very happy that God was asking us to leave and head to our new “home”, but Matt and I were certain, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that moving was exactly what God was calling us to do.  We chose to obediently make the move.

During the weeks and months of prayer that came prior to our move I was part of a Bible study with several amazing and godly women.  As our study drew to a close and Matt and I prepared to move in a matter of weeks those women prayed over me.  One of the ladies felt she received a word from God that was meant for me; she told me that I was entering into my Eden.  Those words have stuck with me.

As we came to our new home I felt we were entering our “promised land.”  This was where God was calling us to be.  He had great things for us here and the work of his Kingdom for our hands.  I was reading through the Pentateuch at the time and remember being constantly struck by the call of God on Israel, his promises to them, and his gift of this land they had been promised hundreds of years earlier.

Matt and I have spent the last 4 years seeing God work in our lives and anticipating just what it is that he has called us to do.  We know our work here remains unfinished (or at least it did as of 2 years ago) because God has kept us here despite our best efforts to move on.

To be continued…

My continuing journey of faith

Thoughtfully penned on March 13th, 2009 and generally concerning God's at Work in My Life

I blog for several reasons – to record stories and milestones for my children, to keep out-of-town family up-to-date (kind of) on what’s going on around here, to keep a record of the various seasons of life that we’re passing through as a family, to create community, to just have fun.

Another reason I blog is to share some of my thoughts on what God is doing in my heart and in my life.  I’m selective about what I lay out here on the web, so these aren’t the things that I blog about often.  But there are times (like summer 2007) – when God is actively and visibly at work molding me, teaching me, calling me – that I like to record and share.  These are posts that I hope God uses to touch, encourage, inspire those who read.  If nothing else, they are used by God to continue to grow me as I journal.

Over the course of a series of posts I plan to share some of the things that God has been laying on my heart these past few weeks.  It is a time of rebuke, teaching, and growth.  It is a time of anxious anticipation as Matt and I await the next step in this journey called faith.  It is a difficult time on many levels yet a sweet time on many more.

I hope as I post these things you will read, comment, and be open to God’s leading; not because I have answers, but because I believe God will be at work.  I believe God will use this time for encouragement and affirmation for me and, I pray, for you.  Will you join me?

Bumbleride Stroller Giveaway

Thoughtfully penned on March 13th, 2009 and generally concerning Blogging News, Contests

I might have a bit of a stroller addiction.  I’m always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in double strollers and have found several that I think I would really like.  However, today I saw a review of the Bumbleride Indie Twin side-by-side at S.I.M.P.L.E. Reviews and I think I’m in love.  This stroller looks great!  And how much better would it be if I won a $600 stroller than if I had to buy it?!

If you’re in the market for a double stroller check out the review and giveaway (or don’t and increase my chances to win :-)).

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